Rubio calls Biden Bank’s watchdog selection ‘communist’

Its. Marco RubioMarco Antonio Rubio Rubio vows to slow Biden’s China and Spain ambassador nominees On The Money – Biden closes infrastructure week Senate Republicans ask colleagues to reject unfunded border wall spending bills MORE (R-Fla.) He claimed on Friday that a Soviet-born Biden candidate whose family was nearly eviscerated by Josef Stalin was a communist incapable of serving in the federal government.

In a tweet on Friday, Rubio accused Saule Omarova, whom Biden nominated to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and who has been a US citizen since 2005, of being a communist.

“Saule Omarova supports the abolition of private bank accounts, the use of the government to bankrupt energy companies and the creation of a Soviet-style” National Investment Authority, “tweeted Rubio, whose parents fled communist Cuba during the decade. 1950.

“She supports communist policies and a communist should not be our Comptroller of the Currency.”

Omarova, a Cornell law professor born in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, served in the Treasury Department under former President George W. Bush. During his Thursday confirmation hearing, described how she was raised by her grandmother, who was orphaned after her family was sent to Siberia amid Stalin’s purges of the professional class and ethnic minorities.

“I grew up not knowing half of my family. My grandmother escaped death twice under Stalin, ”said Omarova. “This is what stuck in my mind. That is what I am.”

Despite the brutal treatment her family faced under the Soviet regime, Republican lawmakers have accused Omarova of hiding communist sympathies and supporting a Soviet-style takeover of the American financial system. They also criticized her for removing in 2017 a reference to a thesis she wrote while attending university in the USSR as a student and for not sending the document to the committee, although the panel does not usually ask nominees for unpublished work.

Although Omarova proposed transferring the majority of consumer banking to the federal government in an academic document, he has not called for the total elimination of private banking as Rubio alleged.

Some Republican senators have tried to separate Omarova’s proposals from her youth in the Soviet Union, but others like Rubio and John kennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) They have explicitly accused her of being a communist.

“I don’t know whether to call him ‘professor’ or ‘comrade,'” Kennedy told Omarova during Thursday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

Democrats say Republicans are running a racist smear campaign similar to the 1950s investigations of suspected communists within the federal government.

“They have a formula: start with a passing and inaccurate reference to their academic work, distort the substance beyond recognition, mix up words like ‘Marx’ and ‘Lenin’ and ‘communism’. Finish with hints about Professor Omarova’s loyalty to her chosen country, ”said the Chairman of the Banking Committee. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell Brown Democrats erupt over the Republican Party’s “ McCarthyism ” as senators examine Biden’s bank watchdog and elect Biden’s decision on Fed chairman said to be “ imminent. ” US-China Power Struggle On Display At Climate Summit MORE (D-Ohio) on Thursday.

“Now we know what happens when Trumpism meets McCarthyism,” Brown continued. “It is a cruelty that no one should experience.”

Omarova also explained Thursday that her life in the “oppressive” Soviet Union reinforced the importance of academic and personal freedom.

“They do not care about human beings and they kill their own citizens for no other reason than a refusal to follow what an oppressive ideology of the state government tells them to do,” Omarova said of communism.

“Everything I do, no matter how people may interpret my academic work, my only goal is to make this country better and stronger so that we can never have a repeat of that communist system anywhere in the world,” he continued.

Its. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) Menéndez Spending Bill Faces Senate Struggle Republicans Express Concern Over Biden’s Candidate for Ambassador to Germany Biden Sparks High-Stakes Struggle Over Spending Framework MORE (DN.J.) – who, like Rubio, is the son of Cuban immigrants – told Omarova that his background is an asset for that fight.

“Only when you live in such a system can you understand what it takes to survive, but you ultimately seek to vote against it in every way you can,” he said.

While Republican questions about Omarova’s Soviet roots have dominated her confirmation process, other concerns among moderate Democrats are the most direct threat to her nomination. Omarova cannot afford a single Democratic objection if all Republicans rally against her nomination as expected.

Several moderate Democrats who have condemned the attacks on Omarova’s background have nonetheless expressed concern about her academic proposals and her calls to divert funding from the fossil fuel industry. Those ideas are popular with the left flank of the Democratic Party, but not with the moderate senators who will determine Omarova’s fate in the 50-50 Senate.

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